Blogging tips

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

.On Preserving their Innocence (again).

It's not just boundaries and rules.

It's more than just cutting cable, eliminating movies, and secular music.

It's not enough to train our daughters to dress modestly, to teach our sons to bounce their eyes.

This issue lies in the heart - our heart as a parent and then our children's heart.

Proverbs 4:23 Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

We can go round and round about the tentacles of the issue for days. How should we dress our little girls? Should Disney movies be allowed? Is it okay to keep our cable? Etc., etc. But what it all comes down to is the motives in our heart. Each family must choose, for themselves, through prayer and searching out the Scriptures, what is right for their family. I cannot say what is right for your family and visa-versa. Yes, there are very clear Biblical standards that we all must abide by, and I am not debating those.

My last post was merely myself working out in writing how to do this for our family. I also wanted to bring light to a subject that I feel is all too often ignored in Christian circles. Some of the standards set by other families that I read in your comments were incredible, and gave me much to consider. Some I knew right away were not the right fit for our family, but I don't judge anyone for the conclusions they come to. I think as Christians, we have to be very careful with issues such as this. We need to be careful not to be self-righteous in our thinking and attitudes towards others who do not hold to the same standards. It is a balance. Yes, it is hard to decipher how to balance at times - how to speak the truth in love, but not be judgmental and self-righteous. I am earnestly praying to guard my own heart against this, because to be honest I have failed in this area more times than I care to admit.

Having set this as my prelude, I do want to highlight some of the comments that made me really think. I am sure not everyone got to read through them, and some were just too good to miss! Thank you for participating in the discussion. I loved that! I do enjoy hearing a variety of opinions, so please feel free to share if you have some thoughts. Let's just be respectful and keep it kind. {grin}

We are very cautious at what they [daughters] wear and now that they are 12 and 9, I am so thankful that we had those standards set in place before they started changing...I think that is the best way to say that. ;) I challenge you to keep your feet on the path you have laid before you now. It gets tough.

When we watch shows as a family, we have to turn off commercials, because many are completely inappropriate!

Running the risk of sounding like a boyscout, it's my job as Mommy to protect and prepare the kiddos. As much as I want to hide them away from the impurities of life, I know I also need to teach them to deal with them and why these things aren't beneficial or God honoring.

No one else is going to fight for our child's innocence. WE, their parents, have to be willing to fight for it.

But ultimately, we answer to our GOD not to man. He is the righteous Judge and lover of our souls...and the souls of our children. (Lord willing...)

I do, however, think we need to be very congnisant of how we're teaching it to our children. You were very good to point out in your post that these were choices that YOUR family is making and that you're not judging others. However, when we teach it to our children, I think we must be careful to teach them in the same vein so that we don't inadvertantly teach them to judge others.

While we need to filter what they see, we need to teach them how to deal with what they DO see, too.

My husband and I come from very immoral pasts and we are very sensitive to what we subject our children too, until their foundation is built and we are confident they are able to battle the world.

For me, the biggest challenge is modeling this behavior for my children.

We believe that our job as their parents is to protect them and teach them right from wrong. It doesn't matter what the world thinks is right; it matters what God thinks is right.

Obviously I can not shelter my children from seeing someone walking in a mall who is scantily clad or has decided the whole world is privileged to see her cleavage for free. But I can talk to my children about it when they are shocked that someone would want to represent themselves to the world that way.

I wish my parents had sheltered me more.

To me, the bottom line is that we are accountable for how we raise our own children, not whether other people think they're too sheltered or something.

And this last comment that I will share hits the nail on the head for me.

As far as the sheltering goes. I don't see that as a bad thing. God is the perfect example of a parent and he most definitely shelters us. All throughout the Psalms, the Bible talks about God being our Shelter.
Here is just one such passage:

Psalm 91:1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I trust him. 3 For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease.

The other thing mentioned by other commenters is that when we 'shelter' our kids too much then they won't know how to deal with the world when they get out of the house. I don't think this is true either. As I mentioned in my earlier response, God tells us to be wise about what is good and simple about what is evil, and he tells us to get wisdom all throughout the proverbs and then tells us that wisdom is PURE... And the verse that Tiffany mentioned about thinking on things that are good and true and lovely, etc. Do you really think that God will tell us that, and then say "Well, you do that, but I'm not going to give you the skill and guidance to cope with the evils in the world when you go out into it." I mean, really? What kind of God do you think he is? He loves us, and guides us, and protects us, and leads us... Not just when we are sheltered in our home, but when we face the choices and evils of the world as well. Knowing what is good IS enough to guide us... God doesn't say we need to dabble in evil and sin and experience it on the fringes so that we know what we are up against. NOPE. He says he wants our hearts to be pure, good, true, honest, innocent... When you are full of light, it is easy to recognize darkness...

I loved seeing your hearts, dear readers. If this post brought something else to light for you, please share! It is so encouraging and interesting for me to read your thoughts!

Now I must go back into hiding for a bit! {wink}

Don't miss a moment! Subscribe here.


jamers said...

Let me just encourage you in your pursuit of purity for your kids. I just can't tell you what it does to my heart to see others seeking to honor God in this way. I have posted similar topics before. Instead of rewriting my thoughts here, I thought I would send you the links. Hope they help you know you are not alone and the path before you is worth every bump in the road. God bless!

California Coates said...

That was amazing! You are such a blessing to me and an encouragement. I will be praying for you in your time of "hiding"


Erin said...


I LOVE how God works. Guess what our service was about on Sunday morning? was abour raising Godly children and what our responsibilities are as parents in this effort. If you haven't read Deuteronomy 6 yet, please do so. It reinforced the idea of protecting our children. Specifically, verses 4-9 which says, "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates."

We cannot impress His ways on our children if we are too distracted by the ways of the world.

I have been meaning to share this with you since Sunday. I just love it when God shows us things and I am thankful that you have been sharing this us as well.

God Bless

Kylee said...

I feel very ill equipped to be commenting again since I am not a parent, but nevertheless, I am going to. : )

I just want to echo what I just read. The issue is the heart! You can lay down rules and guidelines all day long, but if your child's heart isn't in the right place, then all of those rules will be in vain.

The heard is deceitful above all things and beyond cure-who can understand it?

We are born with a sinful nature and a sinful desire to do bad things. If our kids aren't taught God's word then they will choose the deceitful, wicked path. It's inevitable. With out Godly training, then their heart will lead them astray.

I have so much respect for parents that are sheltering their kids from the world. I appreciate my parents sheltering me, and I pray that one day I'll be able to make the best decisions for my kids and raise them in a way that will glorify the very One who created them!

Okay, that's all. :)

Melissa said...

I have to agree too that it is making sure your children's hearts are right that is the most important thing. I want my children to make the right decisions not because they are scared of getting in trouble, but because they are personally convicted to do the right thing.

Tia said...

This is such a sensitive subject, but you've really hit the nail on the head when you state it's up to each family to prayerfully consider what God would have them expose their kids to or shelter them from. I too have my girls wear one piece bathing suits. I grew up here in Hawaii where everyone wears the least amount possible! And even bought Ellie a 2 piece, then when I saw her in it I was appalled! Right then and there her entire innocent little body didn't look that way to me! I've never bought them since! Even at Gymnastics I have her wear little shorts over her leotard or wear a biketard (a leotard made longer into shorts).
When Dave watches sports we usually DVR them so we can not play the commercials. there are inappropriate commercials for places like Jack in the Box! And we do have cable and are very careful about what they watch. I think I mentioned before we don't even turn the TV on most days. I am not one to sit and veg (thankfully God made me that way!!) I don't like sitcoms or TV, I do like History and science channels though and those have been great for the kids as well.
But you are so right, it's for each of us to decide for out children, and this is their ONLY time to be young and NOT have to deal with the temptations and questions the world will inevitably bring later in life! We listen exclusively to Christian music and one day I couldn't get a Christian Radio station so I turned it to a Hawaiian one (which is usually very kid "okay") after one song Jonah said, "Mom can I listen to our God songs? I don't want to listen to this music." He's not been brainwashed, but he wants to listen and sing songs to God because that is what he's been exposed to! So "sheltering" them is also training them to recognize the "wrong" in things (not that all secular music is "wrong") because they know what is right. Have you ever heard how they train bank tellers to tell counterfeit money? They don't give them BOTH real and fake bills, they only expose them to the real ones so when they come across a fake, they know it automatically. I think that is the same principle with children and training them in the ways that are pleasing to the Lord!
Sorry this was so very long. I hadn't read your original post, lots of thoughts came running out!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Design by Small Bird Studios | All Rights Reserved